by Deb Houdek Rule
This is a short-short, or prose poem, about Earth’s moon. It’s a delicate little piece about our yearning for Luna and her yearning for us. Originally published in Wellspring literary magazine, summer issue 1995. Reprinted in Jackhammer, July 1998. ©1995
One face she kept ever hidden from the lustful, yearning eyes that sought her secrets. With the other she taunted their deepest desires, toying with their imaginations. She teased their fantasies, veiling herself in chaste darkness one moment, flaunting her silver, unobtainable radiance the next.
Madness seized some who looked full upon her bared face. The tormented howls that rose toward her spoke of the anguished craving she provoked. Lost, they were, these cries, lost in the dark gulf that surrounded her.
She waited. Someday would come the lover’s touch of these frantically scrambling souls. Someday…
And then they came – oh! Brave, foolish questers who dare challenge the courage-draining emptiness to gaze upon her hidden face. Breached was the lure she’d withheld from their eyes.
What now? As they left her alone once more. Would they not return to her waiting embrace?
A bare flicker of time and they who had probed her from afar returned to caress her and make her theirs. Sweet, their lover’s whisper, “We came in peace for all mankind.”